Modeling Future Changes in Atlantic Hurricane Activity

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 9:00 AM
B216 (GWCC)
Steven M. Quiring, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and S. D. Guikema, R. Nateghi, and A. B. Schumacher

The influence of climate change on hurricane activity is an area of considerable debate. We have developed models of Atlantic hurricane activity using HURDAT (19492004) and a large suite of climate variables. These models generally have small errors and provide strong fits to the observational data. In order to understand how future changes in climate may influence Atlantic hurricane activity, we utilized a number of the climate scenarios developed for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). We selected the IPCC emission scenarios A1B, B1, and A2 because these scenarios represent the low (B1; 1.8C warming by 2100), medium (A1B; 2.8C warming by 2100) and high (A2; 3.4C warming by 2100) end of the temperature trends reported in AR4. Data were extracted from up to 23 General Circulation Models for each scenario and used to predict future hurricane activity. The multi-model approach allows us to quantify uncertainty in the predictions of future Atlantic hurricane activity.